Days after she, along with her husband, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, appeared in a music video titled ‘Mumbai River Anthem’, Amruta Fadnavis has been approached by some Pune-based activists, requesting her to repeat her effort for the sake of Pune’s rivers as well. In a letter emailed to her, veteran activists like D V R Rao, Satish Khot and Gautam Idnani have urged her to do another song video, this time to save Pune rivers from increasing pollution.
“We are seriously seeking Amruta Fadnavis’ help as Pune’s rivers are in shambles. If she does what she did for Mumbai’s rivers, we are sure Pune’s rivers will get a new lease of life,” said Khot. In the e-mail, sent last week, the activists wrote, “As persons who have lived in Maharashtra for most of our lives, we can say with all certainty that all of Maharashtra is proud to have you as her First Lady. You have blazed new trails, be it for political events or for charity. You are a woman of conviction and a trailblazer, setting new benchmarks and changing perceptions in the role of First Lady”.
“The song you sang for the video Mumbai River Anthem has already crossed 2.3 million views in the first week of release and it just proves your thumping popularity, while driving home the fact that you care for Mumbai’s natural beauty and her water bodies,” the letter underlined.
“Pune is no strange place to you, as you have been a student here, while doing your MBA. You will agree that the basis of Pune’s natural beauty has been its clean rivers. However, over the past few years, they have been in a state of dire neglect and have been badly treated. For Pune residents, it is heartbreaking to see her natural resources, like water bodies, undergo such merciless abuse. It is time we revived Pune’s rivers, and we need your help in saving them,” the letter stated.
The letter pointed out that the Pune Municipal Corporation is about to release 976 hectares of land along river banks to builders. “Whatever semblance of green zone we have, it is slated to disappear. This will be detrimental to our future and a curse on the future generations (our children and grandchildren) who will live here,” said Khot.
The activists wrote, “How do you like the idea of singing a song for Pune’s rivers and performing it over a much publicised event on one of Pune’s iconic bridges, such as the Lakdi Pul? The attachment in this mail has a poem written by the well-known poet Shrirang Godbole, who has also set the tune for it. The event is being envisioned to be organised and advertised in a way that local residents of all age groups gather on each bridge in Pune and sing the same song as a precursor to the main event, where you will sing”.
The letter said no event of this magnitude could be complete without the active participation of political stalwarts like MPs, MLAs, the Mayor of Pune, as well as the principal secretary, housing and urban development, the municipal commissioner and other senior government officers.
“The idea is to have a chief singer on each bridge, ably supported by senior MPs and MLAs. It will be the first time that Pune would brace herself for an event of such significance and magnitude, to save her rivers,” wrote the activists.
The letter added, “May we also request that you put in a good word to your husband the Chief Minister, to grace the occasion and lend his good offices to the event in Pune? It’s another first in the long list, where a letter is addressed to the First Lady and is requesting the presence of her husband, who is Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Amrutaji, we salute your enterprising spirit and your deep interest in promoting causes that affect the quality of life in cities like Mumbai and Pune”.
Khot said they were urging all Pune residents to write to Amruta Fadnavis, urging her to extend her helping hand to revive Pune’s rivers. “We are sure she will not say no to Pune residents,” he said.